Gutted – What does “Gutted” mean in British slang?

Hello and Welcome back to Slang with me Louisa May Adams. This show will give you the chance to hear, understand the origins and meanings of new slang and to use them immediately! So let’s get started…

In November I often feel gutted, its cold, the sun has disappeared and as Christmas crawls closer I check my bank account and wonder if my family would each be happy receiving an ironic orange.

Not sure how I am feeling? Let’s clarify this word gutted now.

Gutted spelt G-U-T-T-E-D is British slang word of pure contextual emotion. To be “gutted” about a situation means to be devastated and saddened.

It can be used like this: “His girlfriend broke up with him. He’s absolutely gutted.” meaning he is very sad about the relationship ending.

In formal english gut can be used as a noun, an adjective and a verb. As a noun “gut” G-U-T mean stomach or belly.

As an adjective it means Instinctive. For example to have “a gut reaction” is to have an instantaneous reaction made without thought.

For instance “When he saw that lion leaping towards him, his gut reaction was to run.”

As a verb it signifies the removal of intestines and other internal organs from a fish or other animals before cooking it. For example “The fisherman guts the fish before cooking them”.

So in slang when saying “I am gutted” it signifies that one may metaphorically feeling like somebody has ripped their guts out.

In fact, it shares a very close meaning to the term “gut wrenching” which is used to describe a deeply profound event or feeling.

The earliest use of this slang term “gutted” has been found in a book by an American journalist about the Vietnam War in 1986. In the book Keith William Nolan comments “The whole platoon had felt gutted, an attitude rarely reflected in the press”.

Nowadays, in slang, as well as symbolizing sadness and pain It can also be used to show bitter disappointment about something.
For example “I was gutted when I failed the exam” or “When England lost the match I was gutted”. Meaning these two things made me feel very disappointed.

So start using it today! Make sure not to miss the next episode or you are going to be gutted!

That’s our word of the day. You can find us on our website and from there you can see our transcript and subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and many more apps.

Let’s catch up soon to explore our next slang word.